A Refuge to Trust
When I was a church-camp counselor, one of our activities was to take our campers for a “trust walk” in the woods. We would divide the campers into pairs. The pairs then walked—one of each pair with eyes open leading the way and the other with eyes closed being led. What a test of trust! If you were the one with your eyes closed, you needed confidence in your partner to take care of you.
Faith is a lot like that. It is fundamentally an act of trust in a loving God to guide us and protect us with mercy, wisdom, and compassion. When God calls us, we are like those campers with their eyes shut. We often don’t know where we’re being led until we get there. Along the way, we are simply called to trust God.
In today’s reading, the psalmist praises this reliable God. “All you people: Trust in him at all times! Pour out your hearts before him! God is our refuge!” (CEB). We don’t always see where God is leading us. We often want more information from God, much as those campers might have wanted to keep one eye open as they were being led. That is why confidence in God as our refuge, our safe place, is so important. We can be assured that even when the road to which we are called leads us into dangerous times and places, God will protect us and guide us. We can always trust in God’s love for us. That faith can motivate and strengthen us to say “yes” when God’s voice calls to us.
Trustworthy God, thank you for being my refuge. I know that your love will never let me go. Give me confidence to follow you even when the road is long and difficult. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Things are not always as they seem. To Jonah, the people of Nineveh seem beyond hope, so he runs away rather than going to preach to them. But God has other plans. To Jonah’s surprise, the Ninevites turn to God. In our eyes, social standing and wealth may seem to divide people into different classes, but the psalmist declares that in God’s economy all are equal. Paul echoes the theme of the temporary nature of all things in this life; they should not be our source of security. Jesus opens his ministry in Mark by proclaiming that God is breaking into history to overthrow what has been accepted as the way things are. Sometimes God’s perspective is not our perspective.
Read Jonah 3:1-10. Can you think of a time when you sensed God calling you to do something you didn’t want to do? How did you respond?
Read Psalm 62:5-12. How have you experienced God’s “awesome deeds” in your life? What is your response?
Read 1 Corinthians 7:29-31. What distracts you from focusing on God? How might you reorder your priorities?
Read Mark 1:14-20. What might have led Simon, Andrew, James, and John to immediately stop what they were doing and follow Jesus? Are there things that make you hesitate in following Jesus’ call to you?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.